#ROW80 Round 3: Check-in #3

Some good, some not so good, and some silver linings. Let’s go to the tape:

Week two of Fast Draft and Revision Hell did not go as smoothly as week one did. On Monday, I made the discovery that the story was falling far short of the promised length, and found myself going back through the story to add additional scenes. As I was going through, I started changing things, and ended up deleting almost as many words as I added. Yesterday, I wrote and wrote and wrote and soon realized that, hey, I was done ten pages ago, adding more stuff isn’t going to make this story any better. Two serious mistakes I made:

  1. Trying to “pants” my way through the story instead of outlining it, and
  2. Losing interest when I realized, “Hey, this idea really sucks!”

However, there is a silver lining:

I have an idea for what I’m going to write for Camp NaNoWriMo next month. I started looking at the story that I had this morning, and realized that, with some modification, I could end up with a fairly decent story after all. I will revise the story that I have for Revision Hell, and start over with the “new and improved” version next month. Outlining has already started.

I’m keeping up with the blogging schedule that I set for myself. Hope you’ve enjoyed it so far.


– I’m reading Salinger’s Catcher In The Rye as my “non-craft” book. It was another of those books that I was assigned in high school, and never quite finished. Come to think of it, I never quite started it, either. I was a really lousy student.

– For my craft book, I’m reading Now Write! Nonfiction: Memoir, Journalism and Creative Nonfiction Exercises from Today’s Best Writers, compiled by Sherry Ellis and containing exercises from writers like Gay Talese, Reza Aslan, John Matteson, and Tilar Mazzeo. It was recommended to me by a friend who has another one of the books in the series. So far, it’s pretty good, though I haven’t tried any of the exercises yet.

And that’s all I have at this end. Hope everyone else is doing well!


Two For Tuesday: Charlotte Church

I thought Charlotte Church might add a little class to this blog after the elephant jokes the other day. Regardless of the controversy that might surround her, she has a beautiful voice.

My mother loved Cesar Franck’s Panis Angelicus. My brother sang it at her second wedding, and we had it sung at her funeral. The Holy City is just a song that I like. It was sung at my college graduation, and I’ve liked it ever since.

The Thursday Ten: Elephant Jokes!

I can hear you all the way from here: Oh no! Not elephant jokes! Why elephant jokes?


1. I can’t think of anything else to do.
2. Tammy @ Laughing At Everyday Life did a successful post on them a couple of weeks ago. It was so much fun to read that I just had to do one of my own.
3. Inside every 56-year-old man are eight seven-year-old boys trying very hard to get out.

So, without further ado…

Image courtesy National Geographic

1. What’s red and white on the outside and gray on the inside?
– A can of Campbell’s Cream of Elephant soup.

2. How do you know when an elephant has been in the refrigerator?
– Footprints in the Jell-O.

3. (multiple parts) What did Tarzan say when he saw the elephants running through the jungle?
– “Here come the elephants!”

What did Jane say when she saw the elephants running through the jungle?
– “Here come the prunes!” (She was colorblind.)

What did Tarzan say when he saw the elephants running through the jungle wearing sunglasses?
– Nothing. He didn’t recognize them.

4. (multiple parts, again) What do elephants do between two and four in the afternoon?
– Jump out of palm trees.

What should you never do between two and four in the afternoon?
– Stand under palm trees.

5. What’s the stuff between elephants’ toes?
– Slow-running natives.

6. Why do elephants paint their toenails red?
– So they can hide in cherry trees.

7. What’s pink and white on the outside and gray on the inside?
– An inside-out elephant.

8. Why is an elephant big, gray, and wrinkly?
– Because if it was small, white, and smooth it’d be an aspirin.

9. How do you get down from an elephant?
– You don’t. You get down from a duck.

10. (One that got me in trouble when I was a kid) Did you hear about the elephant with diarrhea?
– It’s all over town!

Some jokes were taken from this excellent page.

That’s your Thursday Ten. I’m taking suggestions, by the way, for future Thursday Tens. Just leave me a comment.

#ROW80 Round 3: Update #2

I’m doing the Wednesday updates, and skipping the Sunday ones, as I think I mentioned. Anyway, here’s how things have been going.


– Fast Draft and Revision Hell has started. I set a goal of 3,500 words a day, and after four days have just over 14,000 words. Her target is for twenty pages a day, I have seventy pages, or 17.5 pages a day on average. The important thing: I’m meeting my daily goals.

– At the same time, I’m working on an idea and an outline for next month’s Camp NaNoWriMo. That’s going a little more slowly, but I should be ready to start writing like crazy again on August 1.

– I have been posting the “Two for Tuesday” and “The Thursday Ten” faithfully for three weeks now. Hope everyone’s enjoying them. I am taking requests, by the way. Leave me a comment and tell me what you’d like to see or hear, and I’ll do my best to accommodate all of them.


– I have been reading, and getting a lot out of, Blake Snyder’s Save The Cat! Strikes Back. It’s writen for screenwriters, but much of what he says applies to novels as well. I had read the original Save The Cat! a few years ago, and I recommend reading that first before Strikes Back.

– Consequently, I haven’t read anything that’s not writing-related.

So there you have it. How is everyone else doing?

Two for Tuesday: Rick Astley

You’ve been Rick-rolled!

Rick Astley. What a voice. These are his two big hits in the US. The first, “Never Gonna Give You Up,” was a smash when it came out in 1987. It was everything about the Eighties all rolled into one: a great voice, heavy dance beat, catchy lyrics, attractive dancers (female and male)… is it my imagination, or does he remind you of David Caruso as Horatio Caine from CSI: Miami? That’s what I thought. The second, “Cry For Help,” was recorded after he left his managers and morphed into a soul and adult contemporary singer. He retired in 1993 to be with his wife and young daughter, but came back in 2002 and has been a busy guy, touring all over the world, appearing in Eighties revival concerts and touring with his band The Luddites.